The Australian cattle dog has many different names. This breed is also known as the Heeler, Red Heeler, Blue Heeler and Queensland Heeler.
The Australian Cattle Dog is the 'official' AKC breed name for this member of the Herding group. They are called 'Heelers' because they were developed in Australia for controlling cattle. They were trained to herd by nipping and biting at the heels of cattle and horses in order to govern the movement of the herd.
The origins of this breed are not known, but we do know that the ancestors of the Australian Cattle Dog are Collies, Dalmatians and the native Australian Dingo. The resulting breed is heavier and more muscular than the Border Collie and has good herding ability. These dogs have been working on Australian ranches since early in this century.
This is a sturdy, compact herding dog, with well-developed muscles. The breed is very powerful, strong and agile. These dogs are medium sized, weighing in at 32-35 pounds, with a height of 17-20 inches.
Since the breed was bred to endure remarkable temperatures and develop the resourcefulness to forage to feed itself like a wild dog, it is not surprising that it makes a very independent pet. If you are looking for a cuddler that idolizes you, you will be disappointed.
There is no doubt that Australian Cattle Dogs are good with children because they are naturally protective. Having said that, this breed tends to frighten small children with its inclination to 'herd' them like cattle by nipping at their hands and feet.
It is loyal, very protective, alert and is absolutely obedient to its master, but it is something of a one-person dog. This breed is not appropriate for apartment life.
They need space to roam. They do best in a large open yard. Bear in mind that it is a noisy animal and barks at any change in their environment, which would annoy your neighbors.
The Australian Cattle Dog requires a lot of daily attention. A bored dog will find something to keep him busy, which will result in destructive behaviors.
To keep your dog happy, you will have to spend time giving it regular exercise and training with positive reinforcement. They are very quick to learn and exceptionally eager to please.
Rigid training from the start will produce a happy, obedient companion. Of course, you should allow the puppy time to adjust to new surroundings before serious training begins.
This breed has a double coat that is resistant to the elements. The top coat is smooth. These dogs shed constantly and require regular brushing. You should also brush your dog's teeth and trim it's nails.
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